Mass spectrometer

Mass spectrometer

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Credit: MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Mass spectrometer being used by a researcher. Mass spectrometers are used to analyse the chemical composition of samples of materials. They work by converting the molecules in the sample into ions. The ions are propelled to form a beam which is deflected by passing it through an electric or magnetic field. Each element has a different charge to mass ratio and so will be deflected by a different amount. This "spectrum" of ions can be analysed, allowing very low concentrations of chemicals to be detected.

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Keywords: analytical, apparatus, chemical analysis, chemist, chemistry, equipment, experiment, female, industry, lab, laboratory, mass spectrometer, ms, research, researcher, scientist, technician, technology, woman

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